|Type||Oxford Qualification - Part-time|
|Start date||Sep 2014|
|Subject area(s)||Creative Writing|
|Fees||Fees for 2014-2015 are £2,235 (EU students) and £3,820 (Non-EU students). (You may pay by instalment.)|
|Application status||Applications being accepted|
|Application deadline||Thu 31 July 2014|
|Course contact||If you have any questions about this course, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.|
Since its inception in 1998, the Diploma - Oxford University’s only Undergraduate course in Creative Writing - has offered significant opportunities for students to explore and develop their individual writerly skills. Providing two years of intensive part-time study and more than 200 contact hours, the Diploma encourages sustained involvement in a wide range of literary projects. An ethos of breadth and experiment is fostered by concentration on four major categories of literary activity: prose, poetry, drama and analytical reading. At the same time, there is scope for specialization in areas of each student’s individual choice.
The stimulation of group discussion is balanced and augmented by regular one-to-one contact between tutors and students. These individual tutorials, combined with a restriction of student numbers in each year to around seventeen, ensure each student has the opportunity to explore and develop his or her own particular writerly talents.
For one student's experience of the course please click on our student spotlight
All those who have an interest in studying creative writing are invited to come to our Open Evening at Rewley House, 1 Wellington Square, Oxford
on Wednesday 12 February 2014 from 6:30pm - 9:00pm. Please arrive promptly at 6:30pm at the Rewley House Reception area. This Open Evening offers a chance to see the Department, meet the course director and discuss the course. For more information please contact Kristine MacMichael on 01865 280154 or email: email@example.com
What the Course Offers
The Diploma aims to foster the writing skills of all its students. The value of group activity as a catalyst for the creative imagination is one of the central tenets of the course, and there will be ample opportunity for discussion of the theory of writing with students, course tutors, Day and Summer School tutors, speakers, and visiting readers. At the same time, the course emphasizes the importance of individual voice and vision, and there is significant provision for one-to-one in-depth discussion of each student’s work.
At the basis of skill in writing is skill in reading and the associated development of the ability to consider and express the ways in which various kinds of writing work. Students practise these skills in a supportive but rigorous environment, encouraged by tutors experienced in sharing their own insights into the creative process, and in valuing and encouraging the creative insights of everyone in the group. Deliberately geared to breadth and experiment rather than to narrow specialisation, the Diploma seeks to capitalise on each student’s unique creativity.
Publication is one aim, among many, of most writers, and past students of the Diploma have had work accepted for publication during or after the period of their involvement with the course. A significant number of those who gain the Diploma have gone on to take MAs in creative writing at universities such as East Anglia, Warwick, Middlesex and Bath Spa, and more recently, have been accepted onto Oxford University’s Master of Studies in Creative Writing: (please see www.conted.ox.ac.uk/mstcw
A central aim of the course is that students, by the end of the two years, will have developed their creative writing skills to an appreciable degree, and will have gained a clearer perspective on their own creative abilities and the ways in which they may want to pursue them. Students who gain the Diploma should also be better equipped to make useful judgements about the work of other writers, and how it relates to their own.
Who Should Apply
Formal qualifications are not essential. Our students come from all kinds of backgrounds and have so far ranged in age from their twenties to their seventies. Some have previous experience of literary study; all show evidence of prior activity (though not necessarily of publication) as a creative writer.
We look for evidence of a high level of commitment; an awareness of literary ideas and a degree of articulacy in discussing them; and a capacity for intellectual and imaginative development. If you apply you will be asked to submit a small portfolio of your own work. Admission is selective, and will take into account the evidence of that work and the information provided at interview.
The course offers a rich combination of workshop seminars (to be held on Thursday evenings, from 7.15 - 9.45pm), individual tutorials (by arrangement with tutors, twice termly, each lasting for 45 minutes), Day Schools (held on a Sunday, one each term) and a six-day Summer School (residence possible) at the end of the first year of study, in June.
The first term provides an introduction to the three main genres: prose, poetry and drama. From the outset there are opportunities to engage in practical activity and wide-ranging group discussion of aims, techniques and issues.
The second term makes a start on refining and developing analytical skills with three weeks of Reading for Writers, followed by seven weeks of close attention to the structures and approaches of prose fiction. The third term concentrates on how to address the challenges of writing creative
non-fiction and stage drama.
The aim of the year is to consolidate and broaden the developments in skill, confidence and analytical ability that will have accrued in Year 1. Term 4 provides in-depth concentration on short and long fiction, while term 5 focuses on advanced Reading for Writers (three weeks) and further high-level consideration of the craft of poetry. Term 6 gives students up-to-the-minute experience of how to write Broadcast Drama.
Tutorials offer unrivalled opportunity for focused, developmental discussion of work in process. Their one-to-one nature ensures full concentration on the strengths of each student’s work as well as on areas which may need improvement. Tutorials centre on work produced in relation to the genres studied during that term. This means that as early as Term 1 students have considerable freedom of choice to write on prose, poetry or drama (though you should expect to write on more than one category in that term).
Space for Specialisation
At the end of both years you will be given the opportunity to concentrate more extensively on your own preferred area of interest, through the production of a portfolio of around 6,000 words in the case of prose and drama, or around 300 lines of poetry. Your second-year portfolio is allocated four term weeks for concentrated attention, and is guided by a preliminary tutorial discussion of the content you are proposing, and a review tutorial on completion of the project.
The Day School in the first term focuses on how the activity of reading may begin to be channelled to the practising writer’s creative advantage. This prepares the way for Reading for Writers seminars in Term 2. The four Day Schools in terms 2 to 5 introduce, through visiting readers, speakers, and tutors, a wide range of voices to counterpoint and amplify insights and opinions provided by members of the Diploma’s teaching team. There are readings by, and discussions with, well-known writers from all genres, as well as related workshop sessions. The Day School in the final term focuses forward to give in-depth consideration to how the publishing world works, and how you as a writer can best operate within it.
The Summer School is a vibrant culmination to your first year of study. Sessions for the whole group will be balanced by individual sessions which allow you to focus on areas of your own choice. There is time set aside for your uninterrupted writing, and guidance will be given, as a group and individually, about how best to focus your efforts during the summer vacation so that you can get the most out of your second year. The Summer School provides an unparalleled opportunity to concentrate as fully as possible on living and working your craft. Although it is largely non-residential, you may book accommodation, subject to availability.
The Summer School is an integral part of the course and included in the course fee. It starts at lunchtime on Saturday 20 June 2015 and finishes at lunchtime on Friday 26 June 2015. From Sunday, each morning begins at 9.30am and continues (except on 20 June) to 7pm, with breaks for tea/coffee and lunch. All students are expected to attend the Summer School dinner on Thursday 25 June 2015.
Calendar for Year 1: 2014 - 2015
The Thursday evening seminars will be held from 7.15pm to 9.45pm at Ewert House, Ewert Place, Summertown, Oxford. The Day Schools and the Summer School sessions will be held in Rewley House, 1 Wellington Square, Oxford OX1 2JA.
Michaelmas Term 2014
Thursday 25 September 2014 to Thursday 4 December 2014 inclusive, with the exception of 30 October (Reading Week).
Hilary Term 2015
Thursday 15 January 2015 to Thursday 26 March 2015 inclusive, with the exception of 19 February (Reading Week).
Trinity Term 2015
Thursday 9 April 2015 to Thursday 18 June 2015 inclusive, with the exception of 14 May (Reading Week).
Sunday 9 November 2014
Sunday 22 March 2015
Sunday 17 May 2015
Saturday 20 June - Friday 26 June 2015
The Academic Qualification
Students who successfully complete this two-year course will be awarded the Oxford University Undergraduate Diploma in Creative Writing. The course carries with it 120 CATS points at second-year undergraduate level (FHEQ Level 5) in the Department’s Qualifications and Credit Framework. These credit points are widely recognised in terms of credit for transfer to other Higher Education institutions, including the Open University. Opportunities vary for the transfer of credit, so students who are considering taking this course for this reason are advised to discuss the possibilities with the Department’s Registry on 01865 280355.
Two pieces of writing are submitted each term, each usually tied to that term’s
seminar activities. A more extended portfolio of work, reflecting your particular
interests, is submitted for evaluation at the end of each year. The twice-termly
coursework submissions will be expected to be about 2,000 words in prose,
or about 100 lines in the case of poetry. The end-of-year portfolio submissions
will be around thee times this length. Please bear in mind that you are likely
to have to devote a considerable amount of time to your writing outside the
framework of the timetabled sessions.
If you have not recently been involved in assessment of this kind, do not
regard it as a barrier. Tutors and other specialist staff will be happy to offer
advice and guidance at any time during the course. You will be required to
attend at least 75% of the total number of seminar hours. Attendance is
expected at all six day schools and at the summer school.
This course uses the Department’s online assignment submission system. In order to prepare and submit your course assignments you will need access to the Internet and a computer meeting our recommended minimum computer specification
. Students of this course may use the student computing facilities provided in Departmental buildings.
Course Director, John Ballam, PhD
John Ballam is the author of two collections of poems, six stage plays, a novel
and numerous reviews, articles and academic works. His best-known title is
his memoir The Road to Harmony(1999; new edn 2009). He is a contributing
author to a series of business biographies for the prestigious Italian consortium
Fondazione Istud. He is also an Associate Manager of AEI Entertainment
(Hollywood) and a script consultant/screenwriter for several major film
producers in Hollywood, London and Mumbai.
Course Tutors include:
Matthew Barton, BEd: Poetry
Matthew Barton has published two collections of poetry, Learning to Row
(Peterloo Poets 1999) and Vessel(Brodie Poets 2009), as well as editing
and compiling an anthology for parents and children, The Winding Road
(Hawthorn Press 2005). His next collection, to be published by Shoestring
Press, is currently in preparation. Previously a tutor for many years on Bristol
University’s Diploma in Creative Writing, he has also worked extensively as
a teacher of creative writing in prisons, schools and other settings. Awards
for his work include an Art’s Council Writer’s Award and a Hawthornden
Fellowship. He was twice winner of the BBC Wildlife Poet of the Year award,
won second prize in the National Poetry Competition, and most recently
won joint second prize in the Hippocrates Award for poetry and medicine.
David Benedictus, BA (Oxon): Short Fiction
David Benedictus has published some 30 books, half of them novels. His
first published novel, The Fourth of June, has been republished this year by
Valancourt Books. In 2009 he published Return to the Hundred Acre Wood
(Egmont), the only authorised sequel to the Winnie-the-Pooh originals. His
short story series on sporting themes were broadcast on Radio 4. He was
Editor of Readings for BBC Radio between 1989 and 1995. Prior to that he
had worked as a director with the RSC and as a commissioning editor for
drama series with Channel 4. He dramatised his first novel for the west end
(The Ambassador Theatre) and his second novel was filmed by the young
Patrick Collins: Drama (Stage)
Patrick Collins is an award-winning writer of some twenty-five works for
stage-performance, ranging from commissioned large-scale community plays
to, predominantly, those created for presentation in venues other than
designated theatres. Among his teaching involvements, he ran Creative
Writing sessions for a four-year period at Aylesbury’s Queens Park Arts
Centre, deputised as Buckinghamshire’s County Writer-in-Residence in 1995,
mentored, through Southern Arts, two Milton Keynes-based authors working
on theatrical texts, and was Writing Tutor for Ithaca’s Inter-Generational
project in Windsor in 2000. He has founded, and been Director of, four
stage companies, the present one of which - Broken Lace - exists to
workshop texts-in-progress by new, exploratory, dramatists.
Frank Egerton, BA: Fiction
Frank Egerton studied English at Keble College, Oxford, and from 1995 to
2008 reviewed fiction for publications that included The Times, TLSand Financial
Times. He is interested in both the close examination of fiction and how recent
technologies such as ebooks and print-on-demand are changing the publishing
industry and offering fresh opportunities to writers. He is a member of the
Society of Authors and AWP, and is a former editor of the Oxford Writer.
He was chair of Writers in Oxford from 2008 to 2010. His first novel The
Lock was published in paperback in 2003, the ebook version having been an
Independent e-Book Awards finalist in Santa Barbara in 2002. His second
novel Invisible was published in 2010. He recently founded the micro-publishing
imprint StreetBooks, and in 2013 published A Conscious Englishman by Margaret
Keeping. He is working on his third novel, entitled Multitrack.
Website: www.frankegerton.com; blog: www.justthoughtsnstuff.com..
Victor Glynn, LGSM: Screen-writing
Victor Glynn FRSA is an award-winning film producer and screen writer.
He has produced over fifty cinema films and literally hundreds of hours of
television films and dramas. He has worked with directors such as Mike Leigh,
Mike Newell and Agnieszka Holland; actors including Leonardo di Caprio, Hugh
Grant, Harvey Keitel, Alan Rickman and Faye Dunaway and most importantly
many writers including Malcolm Bradbury, Beryl Bainbridge, Willy Russell,
William Boyd, Christopher Hampton, Gary Oldman and Charles Wood. He is
currently working with Universal Pictures on a US$20 million motion picture
and the BBC on an historically-based mini series.
Jeremy Hughes, B.A., M.St. (Oxon): Long Fiction
Jeremy Hughes has published two novels, Dovetail (2011) and Wingspan(2013).
He was awarded first prize in the Poetry Wales competition and his poetry
was short-listed for an Eric Gregory Award. He has published two pamphlets
- breathing for all my birds (2000) and The Woman Opposite (2004) - and has
published poetry, short fiction, memoir and reviews widely in British and
American magazines. He is a graduate of the Master’s in Creative Writing at
Jenny Lewis, MA, MPhil: Poetry
Jenny Lewis’s published works include When I Became an Amazon (Iron Press
1996/ Bilingua, Russia 2002) and Fathom (Oxford Poets/ Carcanet 2007). Her
plays for young people include Fat Pig – the Musical at the Leicester Haymarket
Theatre, Me and My Dinosaur, at the Polka Theatre, London, Map of Stars, a
poetry and rock musical for the Oxford Youth Theatre and a verse drama After
Gilgamesh, for Pegasus Theatre, Oxford, published by Mulfran Press in 2011.
Mulfran Press also published her pamphlet of poems in English and Arabic,
with the Iraqi poet, Adnan al Sayegh, Now as Then, in April 2013. Her next
collection, Taking Mesopotamia, is forthcoming from Oxford Poets/ Carcanet,
in March 2014. She teaches poetry and verse drama at Oxford University and
is a Writing Tutor at Pegasus Theatre, Oxford where she is currently working
as dramaturg on the April 2014 production Stories for Survival: a Re-telling of the
Robert Ritter, BA, DPhil: Reading for Writers
Robert Ritter is the author of several editorial reference works, including the
Oxford Style Manual; he has been a contributor to many books on printing and
publishing. His scholarly interest lies in the mediation and dissemination of
literature, and its effects on the creative process. He teaches topics in English
language and literature at Oxford; previously he spent twenty years as an
editor in New York and Oxford. Robert has an honours degree in English and
Creative Writing, and a DPhil in English Language and Literature. He is also a
communications consultant and director of Oxford Style Ltd.
Barry Webb, Dip Theol, MA: Reading for Writers
Barry Webb was formerly Fellow and Tutor in English at St. Peter’s College,
Oxford, teaching a variety of periods, but particularly Shakespeare, The
Romantics, The Victorians and selected areas of the 20th century. He has
guided several literary tours of the First War battlefields of France and
Flanders, and is the biographer of the First War writer and scholar, Edmund
Blunden. He has also been a visiting professor in U.S.A. and has given several
lecture tours there. He has also had visiting lectureships in Japan, where he
was elected Scholar in the Arts by the Japanese Ministry of Education. He is
now working on editing the letters between Siegfried Sassoon and Blunden
and is preparing a critical study of the novelist R.C. Hutchinson.
A selection of our Day School and Summer School tutors, speakers,
readers and visitors:
author and journalist.
poet and editor of Bloodaxe Books.
is Literary Manager at the Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse.
literary agent and manager of The Ampersand Agency.
Literary Agent, the Sayle Literary Agency.
Director of Legend Press.
Poet. Her first collection,Kiss (Bloodaxe 2000) was a Poetry Book Society recommendation.
joined the Felicity Bryan Agency.
teaches English Literature, particularly Old and Middle English literature, for over ten years at University of Oxford and OUDCE.
dramatist and lecturer; former winner of the Thames Television Theatre Writer’s Award and the Dennis Potter Best Play of the
poet and novelist. Formerly Fellow in German at The Queen’s College, Oxford.
poet. Prize-winning author of The Shuttered Eye.
screenwriter working in both television and film.
novelist, published novels include Rough Music, The Facts of Life, A Sweet Obscurityand Friendly Fire(2005).
novelist. Author of The Chase.
award-winning novelist; formerly Writing Fellow at the University of Glasgow.
author and drama critic.
bestselling author of Dying Young.
Director of Tindal Street Press.
Yves Andre Martin,
screenwriter and author of several Hollywood films.
poet; author of collections including The Marble Fly and Sky Nails.
scriptwriter for television, stage and radio.
extensive career in publishing includes senior positions at Granada Publishing, Corgi, Collins/HarperCollins and Random House.
award-winning poet; jazz musician, broadcaster and reviewer.
Fellow and Tutor in English at Wadham College and author of three collections of poetry.
novelist. Prize-winning author of In the Place of Fallen Leaves, In a Land of Plenty, and Wake Up.
novelist. Author of the award-winning His Dark Materials trilogy.
is the author of seven novels including Mr Wroe’s Virgins, Promised Lands(Writers Guild Fiction award) and The Voyage Home.
award-winning poet and novelist, editor of Poetry Review.
Award-winning fiction writer; author of The Vandal, Rhine Journey(short-listed for the Booker Prize) and Time in Aderra; former Booker Prize judge.
Thriller writer with twelve years experience. He has written four novels, among them December and Legacy, while the third, Warlord, came out in August 2011.
College Lecturer at Hertford College, Oxford.
acclaimed author of Brother of the More Famous Jack, Temples of Delight, The Travelling Hornplayer and Frankie and Stankie.
author of three collections of poetry and two novels (The Key and Little Thing).
Much of the academic and writerly support will naturally come from your course tutors. If questions arise which cannot be dealt with by the tutors,
John Ballam, the Course Director, may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Department also runs a programme of Study Skills workshops designed to enable you to develop and improve the skills needed for effective study. For details of the programme contact 01865 280893. For advice on educational opportunities within the Department; the nature of the qualification and the transfer of academic credits, special needs and sources of funding, please contact the Registry on 01865 280355.
Course Director, Dr John Ballam
01865 280898 email@example.com
If you need specific advice on your suitability for the course before making your application.
Award Programme Office
01865 280154 / 270369
For queries on applications and admissions firstname.lastname@example.org
For general guidance and advice, credit transfer, special needs provision,
residential category and sources of funding: email@example.com
For information about Study Skills courses: firstname.lastname@example.org
Day & Weekend School Office
01865 270368 / 270380
For information on day schools and weekend courses: email@example.com
For general enquiries about OUDCE or to leave
messages if other staff are not available.
Libraries and computing facilities
Registered students receive an Oxford University card, valid for one year at
a time, which acts as a library card for the Departmental Library at Rewley
House and provides access to the unrivalled facilities of the Bodleian Libraries
which include the central Bodleian, major research libraries such as the Sackler
Library, Taylorian Institution Library, Bodleian Social Science Library, and faculty
libraries such as English and History. Students also have access to a wide range of
electronic resources including electronic journals, many of which can be accessed
from home. Students on the course are entitled to use the Library at Rewley
House for reference and private study and to borrow books. The loan period is
normally two weeks and up to eight books may be borrowed. Students will also
be encouraged to use their nearest University library. More information about
the Continuing Education Library can be found at www.conted.ox.ac.uk/studentsupport/library
where there is also a link to the
The University card also provides access to facilities at Oxford University Computing Service (OUCS), 13 Banbury Road, Oxford. Computing facilities are available to students in the Students’ Computing Facility in Rewley House and at Ewert House, both of which operate extended hours and a booking system.
Apply for this course
How to apply
This is an intensive and challenging course, and you will need to consider carefully whether you can offer the high level of commitment required. In particular, you should note that you will be expected to work outside the framework of the timetabled sessions, and should be prepared to devote at least twelve hours a week to your writing. For general enquiries, you should contact Kristine MacMichael, the Award Programme Administrator, on 01865 280154, email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have specific questions relating to your suitability for the course, please feel free to contact the Course Director, John Ballam, on email@example.com
Together with the application form, you must submit a reference and some additional materials:
(i) a sample of your work (about 2000 words of prose fiction or dramatic dialogue; or about half a dozen poems), and
(ii) a statement of between 300 and 400 words explaining why you wish to enrol on the course.
Your referee should ideally be a person who can comment on your suitability for the course, and on any academic or writerly achievements. Where this is not appropriate, you should name a referee who can vouch for your motivation, commitment to writing, and potential for development. A reference from a family member is not acceptable. Please read carefully the instructions on the reference form.
When you have received your reference, return it in the sealed envelope along with your application form and your sample of work by 31 July 2014 to the Award Programme Administrator, OUDCE, 1 Wellington Square, Oxford OX1 2JA. Please note the extended deadline however it's best to submit your application as soon as possible. Please do not leave it too late to contact us. Late applications will be considered if there are still places available. The final decision on entry to the course rests with OUDCE.
Click here to download the application and reference form
What does it Cost?
The fee for 2014-2015 is £2,235 (EU students) or £3,820 (non-EU students), payable in installments, with a non-refundable deposit of £200 being required on acceptance of a place. The fee includes all tuition as well as participation in the six Day Schools (including lunch) and, on a non-residential basis, the Summer School. Lunches and the final dinner during the Summer School are also included in the fee; it may be possible, space permitting, for you to book accommodation for that period at the going rate. There may be a small fee increase for the second year of this course, 2015-2016.
This course is not suitable for non-EU students who do not already live in the UK before the course begins. For information, refer to www.ukvisas.gov.uk
Funding and financial assistance
For information on student funding, please visit our website: www.conted.ox.ac.uk
and follow links to `students’ and `sources of funding’. You will find information on student loans, bursaries and Professional and Career Development Loans as well as details of external sources of funding.
For more detailed information on all of the above, contact the Registry on 01865 280355 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please read our Terms and Conditions
before applying for this course.